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Short for Category 5 Enhanced, Cat-5e network cabling is used as a cabling infrastructure for 10BASE-T (Ethernet), full duplex 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet) and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet, or GbE) networks.  The Cat 5e standard provides performance of up to 100 MHz and can be used up to a maximum length of 100 meters.

As with Category 5 (Cat-5) cables, Cat 5e cables typically consist of four unshielded twisted pairs (UTP) of copper wire terminated by RJ45 connectors.   Cat 5e is distinguished from the original Cat 5 standard primarily in its performance requirements.  Cat 5e has stricter specifications in a number of areas, including Near-End Crosstalk (NEXT), Power Sum Equal-Level Far-End Crosstalk (PS-ELFEXT), attenuation and return loss.

The Cat 5e standard was first released in 1999 as part of the Telecommunications Industry Association’s TIA/EIA-568-5-A document specification.  The Cat 5e cable standard is backward compatible with the Cat 3 and Cat 5 cable standards.

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